Palatino alternativesGet closer to the source

Palatino is the work of Her­mann Zapf, a cal­lig­ra­pher by train­ing. Many of his fonts re­flect this in­flu­ence. But the Palatino sys­tem font is a harsh rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Zapf’s orig­i­nal de­sign. Palatino Nova is Zapf’s own re­work­ing of Palatino that re­stores its orig­i­nal subtlety.

De­spite the name, Iowan Old Style is also based on Ital­ian Re­nais­sance ty­pog­ra­phy, though more loosely. Though Lyon is based on French mod­els rather than Ital­ian, it shares Palatino’s sharp, in­cised look.

I’ve al­ways liked Palatino a lot. But the decades of abuse and mis­use have dimmed the nov­elty it once had. I de­signed Valkyrie as a hy­brid of Al­dus, a book face that Zapf de­rived from Palatino, and Trump Me­di­ae­val, a text face by Zapf’s con­tem­po­rary Georg Trump, an­other fan­tas­tic cal­lig­ra­pher-turned-type designer.

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